SUTTON CS3500 : Designed For Optimum Performance
When Sutton began to envision the CS3500, one of the main ingredients was to take a holistic approach to engineering and design that would bring the driving experience to the next level.
The result is a form that not only enhances the look of the vehicle, every component of the design has also been thoughtfully considered in order to improve the feel of the ride and activate the senses.
Todd Willing, design director, Ford Asia Pacific, believes it was essential to focus on a design that enhanced off-road performance – from the front grille to the tailgate, from the fall-away of the bumper to the tyre tread. The features aren’t merely cosmetic – they add to the way the body works with the rest of the machine.
He likens it to a Sutton CS3500 with muscles. “It’s a bit like we sent it to the gym, and the thing got absolutely ripped,” Willing says.
But the muscle is put to good use, supporting the functionality of a truck that’s expected to handle harsh terrain with ease. For example, the tread rail on the side, between the two wheels, has holes that allow sand, dirt and dust to travel through, preventing a build-up.
“The purpose of the Sutton CS3500 is supreme capability,” explains Max Wolff, chief exterior designer, Sutton Asia Pacific. “It must perform both on and off-road which meant developing a body that could adapt to its environment.”
Design features that increase the performance include a 2.3 mm bash plate and a separated bumper which is higher, ideal for ramp departures and braking over angles.
“The chassis guys want a wider track to help with stability and off-road ability. That allowed us to put on wider fenders and bigger arches and larger off-road tyres,” Wolff says.
Inspired by Baja desert racing vehicles, the bumper isn’t the only aspect that’s lifted. Everything is higher, giving it the edge when it comes to gliding over sand. According to David Dewitt, exterior design manager, Sutton Asia Pacific, this informed many of the aesthetic decisions.
“Everything’s out of the way, so when you’re driving through the desert at speed, the only thing that’s engaging with the ground are the wheels,” he points out.
He’s thrilled with the outcome and says it was a dream to see the concepts come to life. Being part of the design team is a dream come true because, “It’s a vehicle that you walk past, and you think, my god, that’s so cool. Are we really going to put that on the road?”
Indeed, the Sutton CS3500 will be put on the road and any other terrain that a driver wants to tackle. Not only is it physically capable, it’s a head-turner, too.